Corrections And Rehabilitation – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 15:02:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://criminaljustice-online.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon.png Corrections And Rehabilitation – Criminal Justice Online http://criminaljustice-online.com/ 32 32 The macabre crimes of “the man with a thousand faces” https://criminaljustice-online.com/the-macabre-crimes-of-the-man-with-a-thousand-faces/ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 15:02:36 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/the-macabre-crimes-of-the-man-with-a-thousand-faces/ BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — There are dozens of murders in Kern County each year, but the murder of Yvette Pena at a Bakersfield motel has received particular notoriety. His murder in 2011 stood out not only for its horror, but also for the tattooed, remorseless man who eventually admitted to committing it. Jamie Osuna, 34, […]]]>

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — There are dozens of murders in Kern County each year, but the murder of Yvette Pena at a Bakersfield motel has received particular notoriety.

His murder in 2011 stood out not only for its horror, but also for the tattooed, remorseless man who eventually admitted to committing it.

Jamie Osuna, 34, has a “Joker” smile tattooed on his face and a pentagram on his forehead. There’s barely a spot on his face that hasn’t been touched by the ink.

In interviews with former KGET reporter Olivia LaVoice, Osuna described the thrill he felt killing Pena, whom he admitted to torturing and received a life sentence without parole.

“I recognize myself as someone who is not afraid to have fun without the consequences and let society shape it, as laws change and society changes, people change with it,” said Osuna to LaVoice before the trial began.

“I’m self-made, and I’m proud of it,” he said.

For Osuna, murder is a rush. And it is alleged that after Pena’s death he got into it again.

KGET has previously chronicled Osuna’s crimes in extensive media coverage and in the “Man of a Thousand Faces” podcast.

Why a thousand faces?

First, Osuna has steadily added to his tattoos, becoming almost unrecognizable since his first court appearance a decade ago. Each new piece of ink changes its look, sometimes subtly, sometimes drastically.

The difference between its current appearance and that of ten years ago is extraordinary.

Second, Osuna took the name on himself, writing it in blood on the walls of his cell. Read on to learn more about this disturbing scene and other details of his heinous crimes.

‘Truly horrible’ injuries

On November 13, 2011, police were called to reports that a body had been found in a room at the El Morocco Motel in Bakersfield. Pena, a mother of six who had fallen on hard times and lived in the motel, had suffered numerous gruesome injuries.

Coroner officials ruled that Pena died from blunt force injuries, punch wounds and asphyxiation.

Prosecutor Nick Lackie did not go into detail about what was done to Pena, but said she suffered “really horrific” injuries.

Police arrested Osuna five days later after surrounding an apartment where he was staying in west Bakersfield. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, among other offences, and his case slowly worked its way through the court system.

In 2017, Osuna agreed to an interview with LaVoice. The journalist was stunned when, instead of denying further, Osuna admitted to killing Pena and said he was going to plead guilty.

He stressed that he was not doing this to save Pena’s family from the pain of a long trial where disturbing photos would be posted; he just preferred to go to jail rather than stay in the county jail.

On May 14, 2017, Osuna was sentenced to life without parole during a hearing in which he mocked Pena’s family, smiling and rolling his eyes as they described in court the torment he had suffered. Osuna had inflicted on them. He gave a thumbs up when Judge John S. Somers handed down the sentence.

Those who expected even an iota of remorse were disappointed; Osuna looked amused, as if enjoying the attention.

The deputies took him away. Within days, he was transported out of Kern County and placed in the custody of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

It won’t be long before he’s garnering media attention again, this time nationwide.

Beheading at Corcoran State Prison

Osuna was transported to Corcoran State Prison in Kings County. He eventually received a cellmate, Luis Romero, 44, who had spent more than two decades in prison for fatally shooting a woman in Los Angeles.

This March 13, 2018, photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Luis Romero. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

On the morning of March 9, 2019, Corcoran guards checked their cell and made a shocking discovery: Romero had been decapitated, one eye stabbed, and other body parts removed; Osuna wore a necklace made from his cellmate’s body parts.

“Hahaha” was written in blood all over the walls. Also written on a wall was ‘man of a thousand faces’.

If Osuna wanted attention, he got it. Her picture has been seen around the country in articles detailing Osuna’s horrific crime and criminal history.

Kings County Assistant District Attorney Phil Esbenshade called the murder the most gruesome case he had ever seen. He said a weapon found in the cell appeared to have been made from a razor with string wrapped around it.

The following month, Osuna pleaded not guilty to murder and other counts.

Californina Inmate Horrible Slaying_1556566350610
A photo of Jamie Osuna taken in prison. (CDCR via AP)

A series of Kings County Superior Court hearings have taken place, many of which deal with Osuna’s ability to stand trial. Whenever he appears in court – a number of hearings have been held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic – he is surrounded by deputies.

During a hearing, in May 2020, Osuna interrupted the judge and the lawyers.

“I don’t want a preliminary hearing,” Osuna said. “I want to plead guilty to murder.”

He made an unusual request: He asked for possession of all crime scene photos. Superior Court Judge Randy Edwards denied Osuna, saying there was “no compelling reason” for him to have them.

Edwards cited the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s long-standing policy prohibiting inmates from possessing crime scene photos due to security risks, and noted that Osuna had seen the photos before and might ask. to see them again.

The judge said there were 205 photos taken from the crime scene and 67 autopsy photos. Almost all of them are “extremely graphic or violent”, he said.

Osuna refused to speak to psychiatrists, but in January 2021 he was deemed incompetent to stand trial after reviewing hundreds of pages of medical records, including mental health records, which had been turned over by the CDCR.

Dr. Brandi Mathews told the hearing that reports indicated Osuna was suffering from heightened paranoia. He refused to take medication, never left his cell again and believed people were “setting him up”, she said of the reports.

“There were documents to support that with the decrease in medication there was an increase in his psychosis,” she said.

Osuna was diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum unspecified, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mathews and another psychiatrist, Dr. Kevin Perry, determined that Osuna did not understand the criminal case against him and could not assist his legal team in preparing a defense.

Criminal charges were stayed and Osuna was transferred to the Salinas Valley State Prison Psychiatric Inpatient Program.

Months later, psychiatrists discovered that he had regained his abilities. A judge has yet to rule on that finding due to a series of delays, the last of which came on June 2, when Osuna fired his lawyers.

His new attorney, Hugo Gomez-Vidal, must now review court documents and medical records and decide whether he disputes psychiatrists’ findings that Osuna is competent.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 22.

Blame placed

Romero’s death raised a number of questions, perhaps the most compelling being how Osuna managed to perform the decapitation and other gruesome injuries without anyone noticing.

A report last year from the Office of the Inspector General provided an answer: the guards in charge of doing the cell checks lied.

According to the Inspector General, two guards allegedly falsified reports claiming to have seen Romero alive during their rounds after his assassination.

“A third officer and a fourth officer reportedly failed to report that they each observed that the first two officers were not taking counts properly,” according to the report. “The first officer also allegedly lied
during his interview with the Home Affairs Office.

The report says the special agent who led the investigation failed to interview several key witnesses and did not investigate whether the agents correctly placed Osuna and Romero together.

A CDCR conference on the findings of the investigation was delayed, the report said, as was disciplinary action against the officers, who “entered into settlement agreements that reduce penalties without identifying new evidence, flaws or risks that would have justified the reductions”. ”

In response, CDCR issued the following statement: “Due to the extraordinary nature and complexity of this case, the department is committed to ensuring a thorough and comprehensive investigation from the outset. We respectfully disagree with the OIG’s assessment in this matter, as based on our investigation and findings, all disciplinary actions in this matter have been served within the required legal time frame. »

Lawsuit filed

Dora Solares, Romero’s mother, filed a complaint against the prison sergeant who placed her son in Osuna’s cell.

In January, U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd ruled the lawsuit could proceed because it is plausible to infer Sgt. Joseph Burns and other unidentified guards at Corcoran State Prison “responsible for day-to-day implementation of cellmate selection decisions knew that Osuna should not be put in a cell with another inmate and, related, that it was because he posed a grave danger to others.”

The judge, however, dismissed Ralph Diaz, former secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Ken Clark, warden of Corcoran State Prison, as defendants. The judge found that Solares failed to adequately establish the wrongful death and negligent supervision allegations against them.

Drozd found that Solares failed to establish that the warden could have foreseen that inmate housing procedures would be ignored.

The next hearing is scheduled for October 11.

In 2019, Romero’s family spoke to KGET after attending one of Osuna’s hearings. They expressed their anger and frustration at what they said was a preventable death.

“We are here because Luis is family, he is more than just a prisoner, another victim of Osuna, he is my mother’s son, my brother and we love him,” said Dora Garcia , the sister of Luis Romero. “We want to be here to represent the family and to let everyone know that Luis is not alone and that we are here for him.”

Why, Garcia asked, would Osuna, who expressed his love of murder, have a cellmate?

“(Romero) was soon eligible for parole,” Garcia said. “My mother, my sister and I always hoped to see him back home one day, but that hope died.”

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Senator Glazer issues statement after Senate rejects involuntary servitude amendment https://criminaljustice-online.com/senator-glazer-issues-statement-after-senate-rejects-involuntary-servitude-amendment/ Sat, 25 Jun 2022 14:05:40 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/senator-glazer-issues-statement-after-senate-rejects-involuntary-servitude-amendment/ Slavery was an evil that will forever mark the history of our great country. We eliminated it through civil war and the passing of 13e Amendment. Involuntary servitude – though less known – also had a shameful past. After emancipation, Southern states sent many black people to prison on trumped up charges and then “rented” […]]]>

Slavery was an evil that will forever mark the history of our great country.

We eliminated it through civil war and the passing of 13e Amendment.

Involuntary servitude – though less known – also had a shameful past.

After emancipation, Southern states sent many black people to prison on trumped up charges and then “rented” them to farms and factories where they were forced to work without pay.

It was slavery by another name.

But ACA 3 is not about slavery. Slavery is prohibited in California by the State Constitution.

ACA 3 isn’t even about involuntary servitude – at least that which was practiced 150 years ago.

The question this measure raises is whether or not California should require felons in state or local prisons to work.

It is certainly a question worthy of debate.

Some say we should pay inmates more than the token few cents an hour they earn today. Others suggest that their working conditions are not always what they should be.

But these issues can be resolved without constitutional amendment.

What ACA 3 could do is end all required work immediately and tie the hands of the Legislative Assembly forever.

Banning the work requirement in our jails and jails would undermine our rehabilitation programs, make prisons more difficult to run safely and, according to the Department of Finance, add more than $1 billion a year to the cost of running the prison system.

It could also reduce the restitution inmates pay to help victims deal with the effects of crimes committed against them – if inmates simply decide not to work.

And as these issues arise – and they surely will – any attempt to resolve them by the legislature or the prison system will be met with litigation.

Inmates will sue the state claiming their wages are too low, their hours are too high, or that tying good time credits and early release to their willingness to work is unconstitutional.

These are questions of policy that lend themselves best to discussion and deliberation at this floor, not the kind of fundamental question that should be referred to the courts.

A few weeks ago, the Senate passed a bill directing the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to develop a wage increase plan for inmate labor. This bill was passed by the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 36-2. This is exactly the way we should approach this issue.

I asked our Legislative Counsel’s office if ACA 3 would ban all work requirements in our prison system. They said that this issue, if ACA 3 were adopted in its current form, would likely be decided by the courts.

I then asked them what we could do to eliminate this ambiguity and retain our decision-making power over the prison system.

The lawyer gave me a simple amendment that they said would achieve these goals:

SECOND. 6. a) Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited.

(b) As used in the article, “involuntary servitude” means work done against the will of one person for the benefit of another and under duress. “Involuntary servitude” does not include any rehabilitative activity required of an incarcerated person, including education, job training, or behavioral or substance abuse counseling, or any work task required of a person incarcerated that generally benefits the residents of the facility in which the person is incarcerated, such as cooking, cleaning, grounds maintenance and laundry.

Let’s pass this amendment and then take up the difficult challenge of ensuring that our prisons are run humanely, efficiently and in a way that leads to the rehabilitation of as many criminals as possible.

For more information on ACA 3 – click here

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Offender walks away from Holton conservation camp https://criminaljustice-online.com/offender-walks-away-from-holton-conservation-camp/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 17:20:31 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/offender-walks-away-from-holton-conservation-camp/ Sylmar, Calif. – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for Cremale Herron, who walked away from Holton Conservation Camp located in Sylmar, Calif., on June 23, 2022. At approximately 12:45 p.m., it was determined that Herron had left Holton Conservation Camp without permission. Agents from CDCR’s Office of Correctional Security were […]]]>

Sylmar, Calif. – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are looking for Cremale Herron, who walked away from Holton Conservation Camp located in Sylmar, Calif., on June 23, 2022.

At approximately 12:45 p.m., it was determined that Herron had left Holton Conservation Camp without permission. Agents from CDCR’s Office of Correctional Security were immediately dispatched to locate and apprehend Herron and law enforcement was notified.

Herron, 32, is an African American man who is 5ft 6ft tall, weighs 186 lbs, and has black hair and brown eyes.

Herron was sentenced at San Bernardino County CDCR on October 3, 2017 to serve a ten-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause grievous bodily harm. He had been housed in the conservation camp since February 15, 2022 and was due to be released in August 2023.

Anyone who sees Herron or knows his whereabouts should immediately contact law enforcement or call 911.

Since 1977, 99% of all offenders who have left an adult facility, camp or community program without permission have been apprehended.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: CDCR Press Office

June 23, 2022 (916) 445-4950 or opec@cdcr.ca.gov

Inmate BE5811
Inmate BE5811
Inmate BE5811
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Youngstown Jail inmates make their mark on graduation day | News, Sports, Jobs https://criminaljustice-online.com/youngstown-jail-inmates-make-their-mark-on-graduation-day-news-sports-jobs/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 04:20:02 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/youngstown-jail-inmates-make-their-mark-on-graduation-day-news-sports-jobs/ Jesse Driver III, left, holds his degrees on Tuesday as Ashland University’s Virginia Maher discusses Driver’s educational accomplishments while a prisoner at the Northeast Correctional Center in Ohio, East Ward of Youngstown. At right is Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and private prison officials. …Staff photo by Ed Runyan YOUNGSTOWN — […]]]>

Jesse Driver III, left, holds his degrees on Tuesday as Ashland University’s Virginia Maher discusses Driver’s educational accomplishments while a prisoner at the Northeast Correctional Center in Ohio, East Ward of Youngstown. At right is Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and private prison officials. …Staff photo by Ed Runyan

YOUNGSTOWN — As he has done in the past, Mayor Jamael Tito Brown addressed inmates at the private correctional facility in Northeast Ohio on Tuesday, this time congratulating them on graduating from college. high school equivalency, an Ashland University business education certificate, or associate degrees, and to encourage them to keep moving in a positive way.

“Your backgrounds are no different than mine – raised in the city of Youngstown, Youngstown public education, single parent home. My dad has been in and out of prison most of my life.

“I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Youngstown State University. So you don’t have to be your yesterday. You can definitely be your future,” he said.

“I spent a lot of time behind prison walls visiting my father. The best time I had a relationship with my dad was when he was in prison. you want to know why? He didn’t miss a birthday. He didn’t miss Christmas.

Brown asked, and inmates said they still send artwork to their families. Brown said he still had the ones his father sent home.

“When you share this with your children, they appreciate it. I enjoyed it more than anything because it was my time to connect with my dad. During that time, I really got to see his heart,” he said. “Believe in what you give and what you send. You have to keep putting your heart into it.

The mayor said he had people “who invested my life while my father was in prison”. One was an older gentleman who was “the community gardener, who taught me how to plant seeds, water them and watch them grow. He looked and saw that my father was not in my life.

Another, “Miss Doretha, took care of the neighborhood,” he said. “I think Miss Dorethas is missed in the world because she sat on her front porch. Much of the world today we sit on our back porch. We sit on our patio.

Mr. Johnson of the Buckeye Elks Youth Drum and Bugle Corps “taught us to respect each other, to be friends with each other, but he really taught us to work as a team.

“My uncle taught me an honest day’s work and an honest salary,” he said.

Brown said each of the graduates “has the opportunity to be all of those individuals, but I want you to find the next generation, to speak to the next generation.

“(Don’t) hide your story because you could be the next Mr. Noble, the Mr. Johnson, my uncle, who has the ability to influence the life of a young person,” he said.

As the eight men received their high school equivalency diplomas and 12 men received their business administration certificates from Ashland University, many family members sat in chairs nearby for the congratulate. Later on Tuesday, another 18 men received certificates for earning masonry certificates after learning to work as brick and block setters.

The prison houses 105 students working on their high school equivalency diplomas and 28 taking classes at Ashland University. The prison has had such a program since 2012, said Natalie Grant, supervisor of instructors at the Northeast Correctional Center in Ohio.

Grant said an incarcerated person who graduates from high school equivalency is 43% less likely to return to prison. “It’s a big deal,” she said of the eight men who earned their equivalency degrees.

Virginia Maher, site director for Ashland University, said students taking Ashland courses should apply for student financial aid just like any other student would. The state prison system, called the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, pays for the other types of courses offered.

One of the men recognized at the graduation was Jesse Driver III, who earned an associate’s degree in business administration, despite having lost his mother and father in recent years.

He also went to the parole board in 2020, which ordered him to stay in prison for another 10 years. “I lose my mom six months later, and I turn around and lose my dad a year later to COVID. Throughout this journey, however, I have remained focused and kept my eyes on the prize, which is this degree,” he said.

“When I enrolled in college, my dad was the happiest person ever, so I knew I had to finish this for him and for me. I’m really proud of that,” he said. he declares.

Driver is also working on his bachelor’s degree in a pilot program at Ashland University, Maher said.

Maher works full-time at NEOCC. The program includes live classroom instruction, but much of the instruction takes place on inmate tablet computers.

The digital portion of the course is similar to what students outside of prison receive, except inmates don’t have internet access, Maher said. Because it was digital, classes continued during COVID-19, she said.

NEOCC is owned by CoreCivic Corporation and houses inmates from the state prison system and the US Marshals Service.

erunyan@vindy.com



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Oklahoma Watch: Prisons Plagued by Staffing Shortages, Inefficiencies, Report Findings | Government and politics https://criminaljustice-online.com/oklahoma-watch-prisons-plagued-by-staffing-shortages-inefficiencies-report-findings-government-and-politics/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/oklahoma-watch-prisons-plagued-by-staffing-shortages-inefficiencies-report-findings-government-and-politics/ Keaton Ross Oklahoma Watch OKLAHOMA CITY — Severe staffing shortages and operational inefficiencies within Oklahoma’s prison system are placing a legal and financial burden on the state, reviewers from the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency wrote in a draft report released. Thursday. The 59-page operational assessment notes that several state prisons are routinely staffed at […]]]>

Keaton Ross Oklahoma Watch

OKLAHOMA CITY — Severe staffing shortages and operational inefficiencies within Oklahoma’s prison system are placing a legal and financial burden on the state, reviewers from the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency wrote in a draft report released. Thursday.

The 59-page operational assessment notes that several state prisons are routinely staffed at less than 50% of the recommended level. The agency has taken some steps to counter the risk of violence in particularly understaffed facilities, including housing older inmates together. But the reviewers found a strong negative correlation between violent incidents and the number of correctional officers on duty.

“There appears to be a tipping point where the number of (correctional officers) is too low to handle the prison population, which could lead to an increase in violence,” the report said.

In April, the Department of Corrections announced it would implement a 30% wage increase for correctional officers, raising the starting wage from $15.74 to $20.46 an hour. Beyond raising salaries and stepping up recruitment efforts, the agency has not developed a comprehensive strategy to address staffing shortages, the report notes.

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Reviewers found widespread cost disparities among comparable state prisons. While all state prisons use a main menu, annual food costs per inmate ranged from $900 at Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy to $1,425 at Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.

“The DOC administration revealed that it does not examine cost differences between facilities, making it unlikely that cost-cutting practices will be replicated,” the report said. Reviewers identified $56.6 million in operating savings not found in the agency’s budget.

The report recommends that the Department of Corrections use a prison population projection as the basis for its budget requests. While the state prison population has shrunk 17% over the past five years, the agency’s budget has increased 12%.

“Even after adjusting for inflation, the DOC should have realized savings from a decrease in the prison population,” the report said.

Agency officials told reviewers they had not made any prison population forecasts in recent years, citing the uncertain effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Supreme Court’s McGirt decision. States and criminal justice reforms such as the 780 State Question.

The report notes that the agency’s fiscal year 2022 budget included $26.6 million for 754 vacant positions.

“Redirecting these funds to larger investments in staff or facilities may be more helpful to the correctional system,” the reviewers wrote.

The Department of Corrections’ decision last summer to vacate the William S. Key Correctional Facility in Fort Supply drew heavy criticism from lawmakers in northwest Oklahoma, who called the closure a short seen and harmful to the local economy.

Reviewers wrote that a “strong argument” could be made to shut down the facility based on estimated repair costs. They also noted that the prison was the third most efficiently run minimum-security facility in the state.

The report proposes that lawmakers and the Department of Corrections work together to create a prison closure decision matrix. The chart would allow officials to weigh a facility’s infrastructure needs, proximity to other prisons and local economic impact before deciding to leave or reassign a facility.

The agency’s current offender management system is outdated and could result in prisoners being released on the incorrect date, the reviewers wrote.

Prison staff currently rely on manual sentence calculations to determine when an inmate should be released. The Correctional Service reported an estimated error rate of 1% to 1.5%.

The agency is updating its offender management system to be fully electronic, a multi-year undertaking that is expected to be fully implemented by 2025. Reviewers wrote that the successful implementation of the electronic system is “essential to public safety” and the effectiveness of the agency. operations.

Using data on state arrests and prison admissions, the reviewers made an independent forecast of the prison population. They project that the state’s prison population could decrease by 17% over the next five years. The calculation does not include inmates housed in private facilities.

Proposed legislative reforms include:

• Require the DOC to include a one-year prison population projection in its annual budget request;

• Require DOC to report staffing data by institution annually;

• Extend the authority of the Board of Corrections to exercise direct oversight and accountability over the Department of Corrections;

• Request the DOC to quantify “funded but vacant” positions and hold these funds in reserve until the position is filled; and

• Require the Legislative Assembly and the Department of Corrections to establish a matrix of criteria to be used in deciding whether to close or consolidate correctional facilities.

Proposed changes at the agency level include:

• Produce a quarterly report available to the public on the state of the operational capacity of the correctional system and the total operational cost of the system;

• Development of a facility master plan that incorporates facility design options to maximize DOC manpower;

• Formally establish data sharing with other criminal justice entities, including courts and law enforcement;

• Modify budgeting practices to specify individual facilities receiving program funding or operating funds; and

• Create a system-wide incentive plan to encourage inmates to move from less desirable institutions to institutions with enhanced training, education and workforce rehabilitation programs.

In a May 31 letter to the Legislative Office of Budget Transparency, the agency said it “supports the recommendations and recognizes room for improvement.”

However, the agency’s response questioned the reviewer’s formula for projecting future prison populations, adding that the assessment should include private prisons.

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CalPERS reinstates CHP officer’s pension despite sex convictions https://criminaljustice-online.com/calpers-reinstates-chp-officers-pension-despite-sex-convictions/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 21:54:35 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/calpers-reinstates-chp-officers-pension-despite-sex-convictions/ The California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, headquarters buildings are pictured Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in downtown Sacramento. Xavier Mascarenas xmascarenas@sacbee.com The CalPERS board of directors voted Wednesday to reinstate the $99,000-a-year pension of a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting his two daughters. Johnnie Swaim, 56, of Imperial, […]]]>

The California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, headquarters buildings are pictured Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in downtown Sacramento.

The California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, headquarters buildings are pictured Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in downtown Sacramento.

xmascarenas@sacbee.com

The CalPERS board of directors voted Wednesday to reinstate the $99,000-a-year pension of a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was convicted of sexually assaulting his two daughters.

Johnnie Swaim, 56, of Imperial, was convicted by a jury of four felonies in 2013 in Imperial County Superior Court for assaulting the two girls when they were each under the age of 10. He maintained that he was innocent.

Swaim was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2016, while in the corrections department, he filed for retirement and began receiving a pension, then worth around $93,300 a year.

CalPERS cut its benefits last year to about $14,000, citing a state law that prevents public employees who commit crimes on the job from continuing to accrue pensions.

Swaim appealed, arguing his convictions were not work-related. An administrative law judge sided with him last month, saying that while his crimes were “despicable”, they were unrelated to his work as a police officer.

On Wednesday, the council voted without discussion to accept the judge’s decision and restore Swaim’s pension. With cost-of-living increases applied since 2016, he’ll be worth around $99,000 a year.

Arguing for a reduction in his pension, CalPERS attorneys said Swaim, as a police officer, should be “held to a heightened standard of conduct, even when off duty.”

The administrative judge rejected these arguments.

California’s pension forfeiture law is similar to laws in many other states that require retirees to forfeit their pension when the crime is work-related, according to a summary from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. Some state laws do not require giving up a pension at all.

Swaim was granted parole in 2020, according to a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman.

This story was originally published June 15, 2022 2:54 p.m.

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Wes Venteicher presents The Bee’s popular coverage of State Worker in the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. It covers taxes, pensions, unions, state expenses, and the California government. A native of Montana, he reported on health care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.

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Court orders release of Bennington teenager from adult prison https://criminaljustice-online.com/court-orders-release-of-bennington-teenager-from-adult-prison/ Tue, 14 Jun 2022 01:23:48 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/court-orders-release-of-bennington-teenager-from-adult-prison/ A court has ordered a Bennington girl to be released from Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility after being held in the adult prison for 18 days. File photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger BENNINGTON — A court on Monday ordered a 15-year-old Bennington girl released from adult prison, saying the prosecution had failed to prove the teenager would […]]]>
Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility
A court has ordered a Bennington girl to be released from Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility after being held in the adult prison for 18 days. File photo by Cory Dawson/VTDigger

BENNINGTON — A court on Monday ordered a 15-year-old Bennington girl released from adult prison, saying the prosecution had failed to prove the teenager would be a danger to herself and others .

In a written order, Bennington Superior Court Judge Cortland Corsones on Thursday granted the girl her request to be released from Vermont’s only women’s prison, where she has been held since May 26 on charges of aggravated assault. with weapon.

The Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office had requested that she be kept in custody due to her increasingly risky and violent behavior over the past year, including in front of law enforcement. .

“The court determines that on the present facts and circumstances, the State has not proven, through clear and convincing evidence, that the release of the defendant poses a substantial threat of physical violence to any person, including the victim. alleged, and that no condition or combination of release conditions will reasonably prevent physical abuse,” Corsones wrote in a three-page decision.

The order came after the teenager’s 18th day at Chittenden Regional Correctional Center, a women’s prison in South Burlington.

VTDigger generally does not name defendants under the age of 18. The girl is named in court documents and appeared in public hearings.

The judge pointed to an improvement in the teenager’s reported behavior since May 20, when police said she had seriously injured her father by repeatedly hitting him on the head with a handgun as he walked was in his driveway. Investigators said the girl, her mother and two other minors drove to the Glastenbury home, and after the parents argued, the group of four assaulted the father.

Police said the gun discharged next to her brother’s head as he tried to pull her away from her.

“At the time of her alleged crimes, the defendant was actively using illegal drugs and was mentally, emotionally and physically unstable,” the judge wrote. “The defendant is now much more stable since being detained and has ‘sobered up’ while incarcerated.”

Corsones cited statements the girl made at her bail review hearing on Thursday, when she told the judge she was now willing to follow the rules of residential treatment programs.

“She is now ready to receive treatment and reside in a staff-secured facility,” he wrote. “The defendant understands that she runs the risk of being reincarcerated, if she is not able to respect her conditions of release.”

The teenager was released into the custody of a family services worker from the Ministry of Children and Families. VTDigger could not confirm on Monday evening where she had been placed.

Under the conditions of his release, he is prohibited from illegally using drugs, using deadly weapons such as guns and having contact with his father. She was only allowed to contact her mother by phone, as long as they did not discuss the criminal case.

The girl’s mother has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault, which carries a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.

The girl, on the other hand, is charged as an adult with two counts of aggravated assault, one more serious than the other. The maximum penalty is 15 years in prison for one count and five years for the other.

Since her arrest on May 26, the girl has been waiting to be transferred to Sununu Youth Services Center, a closed facility in Manchester, New Hampshire, as Vermont currently has no secure facility for minors.

However, there was no space for her at the Sununu center, and state prosecutors said Thursday it could take another two weeks before a space becomes available.

The Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, the state’s only juvenile prison, was closed in October 2020, amid investigations into the mistreatment of youths held there and the belief that the facility was outdated.

Since the closure of this detention center in Essex, three other minors have been held in adult prisons when no juvenile facility was available, the Department for Children and Families told VTDigger .

The department proposed a detention center in Newbury for juvenile boys, but this plan was delayed because town officials refused to approve the project. The state appealed. The state has not offered any plans for a new detention center in Vermont for young girls.

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Arizona prison system hires controversial health care provider https://criminaljustice-online.com/arizona-prison-system-hires-controversial-health-care-provider/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 05:12:00 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/arizona-prison-system-hires-controversial-health-care-provider/ TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – A company that recently settled a nearly $700,000 lawsuit over allegations that it lied to the federal government is now providing health care to Arizona’s prison system and its 34,000 detainees. The Department of Justice accused NaphCare, Incorporated of violating the False Claims Act, alleging that it overcharged the […]]]>

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – A company that recently settled a nearly $700,000 lawsuit over allegations that it lied to the federal government is now providing health care to Arizona’s prison system and its 34,000 detainees.

The Department of Justice accused NaphCare, Incorporated of violating the False Claims Act, alleging that it overcharged the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the services it provided.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation selected NaphCare Inc., an Alabama-based private healthcare provider, after a six-month competitive evaluation process.

“It certainly raises concerns that once again the taxpayers of Arizona will pay inflated prices for health care to which incarcerated persons are constitutionally entitled and which incarcerated persons may pay with their lives. or their health,” said Vice Principal Corene Kendrick. for the ACLU’s National Prison Project.

Kendrick has followed the ADCRR for years and represents inmates in a case originally filed in 2012, which alleges the ADCRR’s health care is so poor that it violates inmates’ constitutional rights.

The parties settled in 2014, but a federal judge ordered the parties to go to trial again. The state racked up more than $2 million in fines for failing to meet prison health care standards outlined in the statement.

Now, the ADCRR has elected to move forward with NaphCare pending hearing of the federal government’s decision.

“We actually asked Judge Silver to find that this law that the state has put in place that requires a for-profit provider be used for health care be repealed. While health care was by no means perfect when the state did it, as the court expert showed, there is a profit motive when you hire companies to do this kind of service for prisons and prisoners,” Kendrick said.

NaphCare, Inc. may sound familiar. The Pima County Board of Supervisors signed an approximately $17 million contract with NaphCare in 2021 to provide health care services to inmates at the Pima County Jail. Sheriff Chris Nanos said he was told by corrections staff that the company “bends over backwards to meet our needs”.

The county signed the contract with NaphCare just months after the US Department of Justice announced a settlement of $694,593 with the Alabama-based company.

“We will hold accountable those who knowingly fail to comply with this obligation and seek public funds to which they are not entitled,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

In a statement, ADCRR Director David Shinn said, “Considering our selection of a new health care partner, providing maximum savings to the Arizona taxpayer and providing health care highest quality to inmates in our custody were top priorities. We believe NaphCare was the best possible choice in these areas. »

NaphCare is a household name in southern Arizona. The Pima County Board of Supervisors signed a $17 million contract with NaphCare in 2021 to provide health care services to inmates at the Pima County Jail.

This contract was signed shortly after NaphCare agreed to pay $694,593 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.

The US Department of Justice claims that NaphCare knowingly submitted false statements to the Federal Bureau of Prisons regarding health care services provided to inmates.

KOLD contacted NaphCare regarding the contract with ADCRR. A spokesperson said the claims they submitted to the federal government were in no way false.

“NaphCare has actively cooperated with the DOJ to resolve the investigation through a settlement. NaphCare has always acted with integrity and transparency in its service to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and we always will,” a doorman said. -say NaphCare.

The ADCRR declined to comment, but according to a press release, director David Shinn said, “In considering our selection of a new healthcare partner, providing maximum savings to the Arizona taxpayer and providing the highest quality care to the inmates in our custody were top priorities. We believe NaphCare was the best possible choice in these areas. »

Copyright 2022 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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California lifer arrested again after mistaken release https://criminaljustice-online.com/california-lifer-arrested-again-after-mistaken-release/ Fri, 10 Jun 2022 00:56:26 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/california-lifer-arrested-again-after-mistaken-release/ A man who was serving a life sentence for carjacking and armed robbery was mistakenly released from a northern California prison for more than 13 hours before being re-arrested on Thursday afternoon , authorities said. Shaquile Lash, 28, was released from Sacramento County Main Jail around 10:30 p.m., authorities said. “It’s kind of a very […]]]>

A man who was serving a life sentence for carjacking and armed robbery was mistakenly released from a northern California prison for more than 13 hours before being re-arrested on Thursday afternoon , authorities said.

Shaquile Lash, 28, was released from Sacramento County Main Jail around 10:30 p.m., authorities said.

“It’s kind of a very disturbing incident,” although it appears Lash committed no more crimes until he was re-arrested in Stockton, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rod Grassmann told KCRA-TV.

Lash went to state prison in 2013 from San Joaquin County. He was serving life in prison with the possibility of parole for carjacking and second degree larceny with enhancements for committing a street gang act in the commission of a violent crime, being armed with a firearm and of vehicle theft, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.

He was not scheduled for a parole hearing until 2035.


However, Lash was taken to Sacramento County Jail from Tehachapi State Prison on Wednesday because he and five others faced a court hearing on Friday for alleged involvement in development department fraud. of California employment, officials said.

The department has acknowledged that it was cheated out of billions of dollars in unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, issuing them on behalf of people who were in prison, including death row inmates.

Lash was to be returned to jail after the court hearing, but a mistake made during the jail’s day shift led night workers to believe he was eligible for release, authorities said.

Grassmann said the sheriff’s office is investigating.

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US Supreme Court clears way for execution of Arizona prisoner | national news https://criminaljustice-online.com/us-supreme-court-clears-way-for-execution-of-arizona-prisoner-national-news/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 16:28:20 +0000 https://criminaljustice-online.com/us-supreme-court-clears-way-for-execution-of-arizona-prisoner-national-news/ FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The United States Supreme Court has denied a last-minute appeal by an Arizona prisoner to delay his execution for his murder conviction in the 1984 murder of an 8-year-old girl , paving the way for the state. second execution in less than a month. Frank Atwood, 66, is due to die […]]]>

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The United States Supreme Court has denied a last-minute appeal by an Arizona prisoner to delay his execution for his murder conviction in the 1984 murder of an 8-year-old girl , paving the way for the state. second execution in less than a month.

Frank Atwood, 66, is due to die by lethal injection Wednesday morning at Florence State Prison on his felony conviction in the murder of Vicki Hoskinson, whose body was found in the desert. She had disappeared months earlier after leaving her home in Tucson to drop a birthday card in a nearby mailbox.

Atwood’s lawyers had asked the Supreme Court to stay the execution, arguing that the aggravating circumstance that made his crime punishable by death had not been applied.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story is below.


An Arizona prisoner convicted of murdering an 8-year-old girl in 1984 is due to be executed Wednesday in what would be the state’s second execution since authorities began carrying out the death penalty in May after a hiatus of almost eight years.

Frank Atwood, 66, is set to die by lethal injection at Florence State Prison for his murder conviction in the murder of Vicki Hoskinson, whose body was found in the desert. She had disappeared months earlier after leaving her home in Tucson to drop a birthday card in a nearby mailbox.

If the execution is not stopped by legal action, Atwood will be the second Arizona prisoner to be put to death in less than a month. The execution of Clarence Dixon last month ended a halt to executions in Arizona, blamed on the difficulty of obtaining lethal injection drugs and criticism that a 2014 execution in the state was botched.

Death penalty opponents fear Arizona could begin executing a steady stream of prisoners languishing on death row, but state officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on their future execution plans. No other executions have been scheduled so far in Arizona, which has 112 prisoners on death row, including Atwood.

In recent weeks, judges have pushed back against attempts by Atwood’s lawyers to delay the execution. He maintained that he is innocent.

Atwood’s lawyers argued that Atwood’s degenerative spinal condition would make it excruciatingly painful for him to be strapped on his back to a stretcher, where prisoners lie while they receive lethal injections. Lawyers also questioned whether state officials met the requirement that the lethal injection drug expiration date must fall after the execution date.

Atwood’s attorneys also told the Supreme Court in court papers that the aggravating factor that made his crime punishable by death had been applied invalidly. He was convicted in 1975 in California of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and convicted of murdering Vicki in 1987. Judges have rejected this legal argument in the past.

Prosecutors claimed Atwood was trying to postpone his execution indefinitely through legal maneuvers, saying his pain would be lessened by propping him up with a pillow on the stretcher, which has a reclining feature. Atwood can continue to take his spinal painkillers before the execution and will be given a mild sedative before he begins, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Atwood kidnapped Vicki, whose remains were discovered in the desert northwest of Tucson nearly seven months after she disappeared. Experts could not determine the cause of death from the remains, according to court records.

Arizona also has a gas chamber and inmates are allowed to choose between that and lethal injection, but he refused, leaving him to die by lethal injection, the state’s default method of execution.

Although he did not choose the gas chamber, Atwood’s attorneys challenged Arizona’s deadly gas proceedings.

They said Atwood had the right to choose between constitutional methods of execution and suggested the state replace its deadly hydrogen cyanide gas with nitrogen gas because nitrogen would produce painless deaths. . Arizona prosecutors responded that nitrogen executions were “never tried and untested.”

Atwood’s lawyers said the state’s lethal gas protocol calling for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas – which was used in some past US executions and by the Nazis to kill 865,000 Jews in the Auschwitz concentration camp alone – is unconstitutional and would produce excruciating levels of pain during executions.

Arizona, California, Missouri, and Wyoming are the only states with decades-old lethal gas enforcement laws still in effect. Arizona, which carried out the last execution in a gas chamber in the United States more than two decades ago, is the only state with a functioning gas chamber.

In recent years, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama have passed laws allowing executions with nitrogen gas, at least in certain circumstances, although experts have said this has never been done and that no state had established protocols that would allow them.

Dixon was executed on May 11 for his murder conviction in the 1978 murder of Deana Bowdoin, a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University.

His execution was criticized by death penalty experts because it took authorities around 30 minutes to insert an IV into his body to administer the deadly drug and 10 minutes after that to die.

They said executions are expected to take seven to 10 minutes from the start of the intravenous insertion process until the prisoner is pronounced dead.

The execution team first tried unsuccessfully to insert an IV into Dixon’s left arm before they could connect it to his right arm. They then made an incision in his groin area for another IV line.

Dixon’s execution was the first to take place in the state since the July 2014 execution of Joseph Wood, who received 15 doses of a combination of two drugs over nearly two hours.

Wood sniffled several times and gasped before dying. His lawyer said the execution was botched.


Billeaud reported from Phoenix.

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